Nahan: A perfect weekend retreat

Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: The capital of the erstwhile princely state of Sirmur, Nahan is situated at a height of 3,058 feet. The district headquarters of the Sirmaur district, it has many places which are of tourist interest. It is located atop a hillock, with beautiful views of the green slopes of the Shiwalik hills on all sides.

Founded by Raja Karan Prakash in the year 1621, it has got the crown to organise the second Municipal Corporation in India, after Kolkata. Regarding the naming of the city, the legend goes that this place was an area where lions used to dwell. Since ‘Nahar’ means lion in Sanskrit, so the place was named ‘Nahar’ and later, the name got changed to ‘Nahan.’

Places to Visit:

Renuka Lake:

The largest lake in the state, it lies at an elevation of around 630 metres. The lake is shaped in the form of a reclining woman, and locals believe that it embodies Renuka, the wife of sage Jamadagni and mother of Lord Parshuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Boating is allowed on the lake and is quite popular among tourists. A very large fair, called the International Shri Renuka Ji Fair is held on the eve of Prabodhini Ekadashi. Lakhs of devotees from all over the country come to attend this fair. It is located at a distance of 38 kilometres from Nahan.

Suketi Fossil Park:

Also known as the Shiwalik Fossil Park, it is the first fossil park in Asia that has been set up on the same site where the fossils were discovered. It is among the largest fossil parks of Asia and is located at a distance of nearly 21 kilometres from Nahan. The fossils found in the park are nearly 2.5 million years ago.

Jaitak Fort:

Situated on the Jaitak Hills, the fort is believed to have been made by the Gurkhas overnight, using the materials that were recovered from the destroyed Nahan Fort. It was built by the Gurkha leader, Ranjor Singh Thapa, in 1810.

Jagannath Temple:

This temple was built by Raja Budhh Prakash in 1681. It has been built in the style of the original temple in Puri and is dedicated to the Hindu god, Neel Madhav. It is believed that the Lord himself came in the dream of the Raja and asked him to shift his temple to a better place, which was earlier at the base of a peepal tree.

Simbalwara Wildlife Sanctuary:

The sanctuary has sal forests and green, grassy pastures that are homes to animals like the ghoral, chital, sambhar, leopard and barking deer.

Best Time to Visit:

Since Nahan is not located very high up in the mountains, it can be visited throughout the year. However, for those looking to soak in the festive spirit at Nahan, a visit during Navratri is a must, as the Renuka Lake and its surroundings come to life.

How to Reach:

Nahan is well connected by road to all major cities of the region. The state capital, Shimla, is located at a distance of 136 kilometres. The nearest railhead is in Ambala, which is located at a distance of 68 kilometres. The nearest airport is in Chandigarh, which is located at a distance of 84 kilometres. Delhi lies at a distance of 262 kilometres.

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